Friday, May 26, 2017

Leading Your Child To Career Success

There is a very fine line between helping your children to make the right career choices, and doing it for them. Let’s face it, every parent wants the best for their child. Whether it’s the way you teach them in mainstream school or in home school, parents spend the early years of their children’s lives making decisions that they can only hope are the right ones. When it comes to their future, you want them to have everything they could want and more than anything you ever had. We build castles in the sky for our children, imagining them to be presidents and marrying into royalty. Basically, we want them to have financial security and happiness, which often don’t go hand in hand. It’s an unfortunate fact, but it’s one that as a parent, you need to remember when your child asks you the big question of what they should be when they grow up.
The answer to that question should always be ‘whatever you want to be, you can be’. However, children need guidance. Their whole lives, they need a helping hand and a listening ear to help them through the biggest decisions of their lives. Children hang onto the words of their parents and often follow in their parent’s footsteps. If you are a successful surgeon or doctor in another field, then it’s likely your child will want to do what you do. Sometimes, children make the wrong decisions in order to do what they think their parents want. It’s admirable and it’s sweet, but if your child isn’t built for what you do, then they should learn to pursue their own likes, passions and dreams.
Most parents have every good intention to be supportive, especially during the biggest stages during their academic career. But, how can you be the sort of parent who is supportive without being pushy? Some children require a gentle hand to nudge them toward the things they are good at that they can’t see. Others are already so focused that they know from a very young age what will make them happy in life. Some parents aren’t as well-equipped as others to guide their children successfully. It doesn’t mean they are bad at it, it just means that they haven’t got a clue where to get started in guiding their children toward what they want the most.
The world today is one that is constantly changing. Parents grew up – for the most part – in a generation that didn’t have computer games, online shopping and instant banking and yet this is the world our children grow up in now. Surrounded by new technologies and digital platforms, children are constantly exposed to new ways of doing things and parents have to educate themselves on how children today are following trends. A good starting point for parents of school-age children is to learn what options are available right now. A college degree may seem like a no-brainer for a parent, but if your child isn’t academically inclined but are creative, there may be other avenues that you are not aware of that they could go down to embark on their career. A lot of parents want their children to have stability and so the options of being a doctor at a large practice or a lawyer somewhere like Ellis Whittam can feel like the only options. In fact, there are hundreds, if not thousands of careers your child could embark on and it’s up to you to help them play to their own strengths. Helping your child to fully understand their non-academic strengths will help them go a long way to discovering where their passions lie.
Having your children happy, secure and financially solvent is the dream of every parent. Always encourage their individuality in whatever setting you choose to teach them. Many parents unintentionally put pressure on their children to realise ambitions that they themselves failed. It doesn’t make you a bad parent, but you want your child to do what they are good at and happy about, rather than what you hope they are good at. They need freedom and space to realise what they are passionate about, and above all else they need your encouragement. Children thrive on praise and encouraging words, and even if you don’t agree with their particular career choice, you should see the light in their eyes when they talk about what they are passionate about. You may feel concerned over their choices, but your advice has to stay impartial as you assist their decisions rather than push your own agenda. If your child is going to be extremely happy driving trains for a living, then encourage that goal rather than deter it.
Not every child is suited to an academic life. Getting through school, which is compulsory, is one thing, but headed to do a degree and then a master degree afterwards can be daunting for some children. Don’t ever assume that your child will be as academic as you are. Some children are better suited to a workforce environment where they can earn money and see their own earnings rather than sit in front of a lecturer or professor learning some more. If you’re home schooling your child, getting them involved in networking with you can really assist your child to have the best resume possible. It’s never too early to think about the future where your children are concerned, so taking them to careers fairs from high school age and asking outside advisors to appraise their resume and give them advice on areas they are interested in is a very supportive thing to do as a parent.
One of the hardest thing a parent will do is let go of their child. You never truly let go, of course, but when you’ve spent their whole life teaching them how to do everything and often doing things for them, it’s time to step back and let go. Let them go ahead and make their choices with regards to career. Advise impartially where you can and support unreservedly. Going through puberty, keeping on top of their academic scores and discovering their passions in life is all one big mess and as a parent, you are there as the constant throughout that mess. In the world we live in today, children have a lot on their shoulders. There are expectations through every aspect of life and children are under a lot of pressure to perform against those expectations. The last thing they need is a parent who raises the bar too high and makes them feel like a disappointment.
While final decisions on careers won’t be made until later in their teens, children should always be encouraged to talk about and be open about what they are passionate about. You as a parent are the biggest influence a child can have in their life. It’s important you’re aware of the influence you have over your child and that you are mindful of how they respond to you. Children who are closed off and quiet can be harder to reach but they will still have the same decisions to make as an outgoing and more extraverted child. In the end, your support is what will count and you cannot give support if you are uneducated on what your child wants to do. Research their goals and encourage them to the best of your ability and you will be able to guide your child on their career choice.


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